|Publication number||US7404513 B2|
|Application number||US 11/026,840|
|Publication date||Jul 29, 2008|
|Filing date||Dec 30, 2004|
|Priority date||Dec 30, 2004|
|Also published as||US20060144907, US20080251918, WO2006072087A1|
|Publication number||026840, 11026840, US 7404513 B2, US 7404513B2, US-B2-7404513, US7404513 B2, US7404513B2|
|Inventors||Sohichi Kadoguchi, Norihiro Kawakami|
|Original Assignee||Texas Instruments Incorporated|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (19), Referenced by (11), Classifications (69), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention is related in general to the field of semiconductor devices and processes and more specifically to structure and method of metal bonds to contact pads over dielectrics.
It is well known in semiconductor technology that bond pads on silicon integrated circuits can be damaged during conventional thermosonic wire bonding to circuit bond pad made of aluminum or copper. Mechanical loading and ultrasonic stresses applied by the tip of the bonding capillary to the bond pad are particularly suspect. When the damage is not apparent during the bonding process, the defects may manifest themselves subsequently by succumbing to thermo-mechanical stresses generated during plastic encapsulation, accelerated reliability testing, temperature cycling, and device operation. The damage appears in most cases as microcracks which may progress to fatal fractures in the underlying dielectric, as chip-outs of brittle or mechanically weak dielectric films, often together with pieces of metal or silicon, or as lifted ball bonds or delamination of metal layers.
Recent technological developments in the semiconductor industry tend to aggravate the problem. For instance, newer dielectric materials such as silicon-containing hydrogen silsesquioxane (HSQ) are being preferred due to their lower dielectric constant which helps to reduce the capacitance C in the RC time constant and thus allows higher circuit speed. Since the density and porosity of dielectric films affect the dielectric constant through absorption or desorption of water, films with these characteristics are introduced even when they are mechanically weaker. Films made of aerogels, organic polyimides, and parylenes fall into the same category. These materials are less dense and mechanically weaker than previous standard insulators such as the plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposited dielectrics. This trend even affects stacks of dielectric layers such as alternating layers of plasma-generated tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) oxide and HSQ, or ozone TEOS oxide and HSQ. Since these materials are also used under the bond pad metal, they magnify the risk of device failure by cracking.
In addition, the pitch of bond pads is being progressively more reduced to save valuable silicon real estate. Consequently, the bonding parameters have to become more aggressive to achieve stronger bonds in spite of smaller size. Bonding force and ultrasonic energy during bonding are being increased. Again, the risk of yield loss and lowered reliability is enhanced.
Attempts to solve these problems by using softer wires and attachments balls have failed because these wires sag under their own weight in long-looping spans, or can be swept in the transfer molding process. In addition, these difficulties tend to get aggravated, when larger wire diameters are needed to keep the electrical resistance of long loops at an acceptable value. Furthermore, bonding balls made from these large-diameter wires would end up with ball diameters too large for the ever shrinking pad sizes.
A need has therefore arisen for a low cost, reliable wire bonding method combining simultaneously small ball sizes with reliable intermetallics, low risk of damaging the dielectrics under the bond pad during the bonding process, avoiding sagging of long wire spans, and keeping the electrical resistance of these long wire spans at acceptable values. There is a technical advantage, when the method is flexible enough to be applied for different semiconductor product families and a wide spectrum of design and assembly parameters, and also achieves improvements toward the goals of improved process yield and device reliability. These are further technical advantages when these innovations are accomplished using the installed equipment base so that no investment in new manufacturing machines is needed.
One embodiment of the invention is a semiconductor device with a chip, which has at least one metallic bond pad over insulating material. In contact with this bond pad is a flattened metal ball made of at least 99.999% pure metal such as gold, copper, or silver. The diameter of the flattened ball is less than or equal to the diameter of the bond pad. A wire is connected to the bond pad so that the wire has a thickened portion conductively attached to the flattened metal ball. The wire is preferably made of composed metal such as gold alloy, copper alloy, or copper-coated gold; the composition of the flattened ball is softer than the wire. This softness of the flattened ball protects the underlying insulator against damage caused by pressure or stress, when the composed ball is attached, even when the insulator includes mechanically weak dielectrics.
The device may also have an electrically conducting line spaced from the bond pad by a gap. The wire is spanning this gap by means of a loop of controlled shape, whereby the bond pad is connected to the conducting line. Due to the hardness of the composed wire, the loop does not sag even for long spans. Furthermore, the wire has a diameter selected so that the electrical resistance of the loop can be kept below a pre-determined value.
Another embodiment of the invention is a method for fabricating a semiconductor device, which has a chip with at least one bond pad over insulator material. A flattened metal ball is formed in contact with the bond pad. A wire is then connected to the bond pad by forming a thickened portion of the wire and conductively attaching the thickened portion to the flattened metal ball, which has a composition softer than the wire.
Another embodiment of the invention is a method for fabricating a semiconductor device, which starts by providing a semiconductor chip with at least one metallic bond pad over insulator material. A first free air ball is formed at the tip of a first capillary, which is loaded with a wire of at least 99.999% pure metal. The freshly formed first free air ball is then attached to the bond pad, flattened by means of the first capillary, and separated from the pure wire. A second free air ball is formed at the tip of a second capillary, which is loaded with a wire of composed metal. The freshly firmed second free air ball is then attached to the flattened first ball and flattened by means of the second capillary; the composed wire is finally spanned into a controlled loop. The diameter of the composed wire is selected so that the loop has a predetermined electrical resistance.
It is a technical advantage of the invention to eliminate restrictions on the size of the dielectric pattern, thus minimizing the risks of inflicting cracking damage even to very brittle dielectrics.
It is another technical advantage of the invention to provide design concepts and process methods which are flexible so that they can be applied to several families of products, and are general, so that they can be applied to several generations of products. The invention supports the ongoing miniaturization trend in the semiconductor industry, especially the shrinking of bond pad diameters.
Another object of the invention is to use only processes already employed in the fabrication of integrated circuit devices, thus avoiding the cost of new capital investment and using the installed fabrication equipment base.
The technical advances represented by certain embodiments of the invention will become apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiments of the invention, when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and the novel features set forth in the appended claims.
The schematic cross section of
A flattened metal ball 104 is in contact with bond pad 101. In this embodiment, the diameter 104 a of ball 104 is less than or equal to diameter 103 a of the overcoat window and the flattened metal ball is made of metal at least 99.999% pure, such as pure gold, copper, or silver. These metals are commercially available by many companies, for instance, Nittetu Micro Metal, Japan, under the brand name 5N, or Degussa, Germany. At these high purity levels, these metals are very soft, especially when they are macro-crystalline (heat treated).
The cross section of
The preferred wire bonding process begins by positioning the semiconductor chip (only portion 200 shown in
With the soft flattened ball 201 protecting the bond pad and its underlying dielectrics, the air ball 111 (
As schematically illustrated in the example of
Another embodiment of the invention is the preferred method for fabricating a semiconductor device, which comprises the following steps: Providing a semiconductor chip having at least one metallic bond pad over insulator material; the insulator may include mechanically weak low-k dielectrics. Next, forming a first free air ball at the tip of a first capillary loaded with an at least 99.999% pure metal wire; examples include gold, copper, and silver wire. Next, attaching the freshly formed first free air ball to the bond pad, flattening the first ball by means of the first capillary, and separating the flattened first ball from the pure wire.
The step of attaching the first free air ball may include mechanical pressure and ultrasonic energy without damaging mechanically weak low-k dielectrics under the bond pad, because of the softness of the pure metal. The step of separating the flattened ball may consist of a flame-off process. It is preferred that the flattened first ball has a diameter smaller than or equal to the diameter of the bond pad.
In the next process step, a second free air ball is formed at the tip of a second capillary loaded with a composed metal wire. Examples of composed metals are alloys, such as gold alloy, coated wires, such as copper-coated gold, and process-hardened wires. The freshly formed second free air ball is then attached to the flattened first ball; in this process, the second ball is flattened by means of said second capillary. The diameter of the second flattened ball may be approximately the diameter of the bond pad. The step of attaching the second free air ball may include mechanical pressure and ultrasonic energy, but they are less likely to damage mechanically weak low-k dielectrics under the bond pad, because the flattened first ball made out of soft metal acts as a pressure-absorbing cushion.
Subsequently, the composed wire is spanned into a controlled loop, which bridges a gap between the bond pad an electrically conductive line or a leadframe segment. The diameter of the composed wire is selected so that the loop has an electrical resistance equal to or below a certain predetermined value. This means, the diameter of the composed-metal wire may be larger than the diameter of the pure-metal wire.
While this invention has been described in reference to illustrative embodiments, this description is not intended to be construed in a limiting sense. Various modifications and combinations of the illustrative embodiments, as well as other embodiments of the invention, will be apparent to persons skilled in the art upon reference to the description.
As an example, the invention covers integrated circuits made in silicon, silicon germanium, gallium arsenide, or any other semiconductor material used in integrated circuit manufacture.
As another example, in some devices, the dielectrics are fortified by metal-grid structures. For these strengthened insulators, a first flattened ball made of lightly less pure metal, for example, 99.99% or 99.9%, may be satisfactory.
It is therefore intended that the appended claims encompass any such modifications or embodiments.
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|U.S. Classification||228/180.5, 257/E21.518, 228/110.1, 257/E23.025|
|International Classification||B23K1/06, B23K31/02|
|Cooperative Classification||H01L2924/181, H01L2924/00011, H01L2224/48507, H01L24/43, H01L2224/48724, H01L2224/48747, H01L2224/45124, H01L2224/43848, H01L2924/01327, H01L2924/10253, H01L24/85, H01L2224/48624, H01L2224/45647, H01L2224/45147, H01L24/45, H01L2224/02166, H01L2224/45144, H01L2224/45565, H01L2924/20106, H01L2224/48847, H01L2224/48091, B23K20/005, H01L2924/01019, H01L2224/48647, H01L2924/01033, H01L2224/456, H01L2924/10329, H01L2224/05647, H01L2224/48247, H01L2924/01032, H01L2924/30105, H01L2224/48499, H01L2224/4554, H01L2924/01047, H01L2924/01013, H01L2924/14, H01L2924/01029, H01L2924/01057, H01L2224/48482, H01L2924/01014, H01L2224/48824, H01L2224/45139, H01L2224/85051, H01L2224/05624, H01L2224/48475, H01L2924/01031, H01L2224/45015, H01L2924/20752, H01L2224/45686, H01L2924/20108, H01L24/48, H01L2224/85205, H01L2924/01205, H01L2924/01079, H01L2224/48465, H01L2224/4845, H01L2924/20105, H01L2924/20107, H01L2924/10271|
|European Classification||H01L24/85, H01L24/45, H01L24/48, B23K20/00D2B|
|Mar 9, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS INCORPORATED, TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:KADOGUCHI, SOHICHI;KAWAKAMI, NORIHIRO;REEL/FRAME:015864/0643
Effective date: 20050131
|Dec 29, 2011||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Dec 29, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8